How Lutherans Worship
Lutheran worship is "liturgical". Along with several other denominations, including Episcopalians and Catholics, Lutherans follow a set order during a church service. This sequence is known as a "liturgy". The liturgy changes in minor but substantive ways during the course of the church year, but not all that much. This sample bulletin was used for a recent Sunday service.
Making a Joyful Noise
Music is an important part of every Lutheran service. Lutherans like to sing, and hymns of all kinds, including traditional, spiritual, ethnic, and modern are used to express the joy in being part of God's creation, to sing his praises, and to ask his forgiveness and intercession in our worldly lives.
What Lutherans Believe:
If you were to ask a thoughtful Lutheran how or when he or she "found the Lord" you might get an answer something like, "I don't think I found Him, more likely He knew where I was and called me to Him and His service". When Martin Luther began this whole thing by posting the "95 Theses" at the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, he was raising objections to the way Christianity was practiced and promoted in the 15th and 16th centuries. Instead of believing that we get to heaven or are "saved" by what we do here on Earth, he saw that the Bible taught that we are saved through God's grace in sending his son to die for our sins, and that we respond by doing good, living a virtuous life, and helping others.
Luther believed that God's word should be accessible to all, not just interpreted to the people by clergy. Up until his time, the Church had held services in Latin only, Bibles were written in Latin, and individuals outside the clergy, as a rule, had to rely on what their priest told them regarding the word and how they should lead their lives. Luther translated the Bible into German -- the first time that a mass-produced bible was available in the native tongue of a nation.
With this Bible and the "Small Catechism", Luther produced a means for everyday people to find God accessible without any human intermediary.
Sundays: Fellowship and refreshments at 9:00 am
Worship at 9:30 am
The Season of Pentecost is the longest-comprising approximately half of the church year. It begins on the Day of Pentecost, which is the 8th Sunday after Easter. This year, the Day of Pentecost falls on June 4. This day marks the time when the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus' disciples (see Acts 2 for this story), sometimes known as the birthday of the Church. This occurred 50 days after the resurrection, which is where the name (pente meaning 50) originates. We celebrate this day with the color red, which signifies the Holy Spirit.
The Season of Pentecost is also known as "ordinary time." The color for the season is green. During these weeks, we hear about Jesus' life and ministry in the Gospel lessons. We learn about Jesus' teachings, healings, challenges, and more from the Gospel of Matthew. The Old Testament and Psalm readings are "semi-continuous," meaning we will hear more of the storyline instead of skipping around as we do during other seasons. During this year, we are reading the story of King David and his descendants. The season includes Reformation Sunday, and concludes with Christ the King Sunday (November 26). This is the final Sunday in the church year, after which we begin anew with Advent which is the season for preparation before Christmas.